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'65 Sting-Ray

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Old 02-08-19, 01:09 PM
  #51  
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I had a summer apprentice job at the local Schwinn/ Raleigh dealer in 69 and 70. The Sting Ray type bikes probably saved that shop from the slump before adult bicycling became popular. I'll bet they outsold the ten speeds 10 to 1 at that time. In fact, most of my job there was assembling and testing Sting Rays and the other various Krate bikes. The owner was fussy and we were well trained. He made sure every bike that left the shop was perfect. They were more expensive than the department store bikes, but in my opinion you did get more bike for the money.
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Old 02-08-19, 01:57 PM
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my 6th grade teacher (Ms Hottie) knew I rode my bike to school, so one day she had me demonstrate centrifugal force by riding my bike around the class on the playground
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Old 02-08-19, 02:54 PM
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My Grandmother worked at Sears in the 60's. On Christmas Day in '64 I received a brand new Sears Spaceliner which I couldn't fit on for about a year. I took it everywhere a Sting Ray could go but always wished for that holy grail that only two kids in our neighborhood had. One kid spent all his free time doing wheelies down the block in front of my house. By the time my police auction flips had earned me enough to buy myself a bike as a high school freshman, I splurged on a JC Penney 10 speed with Huret derailleurs and Weinmann brakes. I wanted a Varsity but it was a lot more money.

By my sophomore year I was working in a bike shop and the Raleigh snobbery got to me, so I bought a Super Course TT and installed a Sugino maxy (flexy!) crank. A year later it was a Fuji Finest and I never looked back. My Dad kept the Spaceliner in the garage until a neighbor liked it, so he gave it to him. 20 years later he gave it back as a rusty hulk. Ironic that the intact Spaceliner would have been worth as much as a Sting Ray today.

We ended up with my brother in law's '67 coppertone three speed Deluxe Sting Ray when he passed away, all original except the back tire. I rode it around the block once, felt the longing I had for years as a kid and hung it up.
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Old 02-08-19, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Interesting how so many of us are basically telling the same story. The Schwinn was the desired bike, and we compromised with similar and inexpensiver bikes.
I did not compromise, but walked a year longer to continue saving for the Schwinn.
Then when I presented my $60. to pay for the bike, they asked to call my house to make sure it was OK.
I was ticked, but what could I do? They called, my Mom took the call and advised what was the problem?
He earned it, sell him the bike.
Thanks Mom.
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Old 02-09-19, 04:13 PM
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Do you blame the bike shop? It was a lot of money for a young person to be carrying.
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Old 02-09-19, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I started out on a Sting-Ray then had a series of Collegiates as I grew taller. I broke that series with a 25" frame Le Tour III. I was a tall skinny kid. (Nowadays- not so skinny.) About then I got hired at the local Schwinn shop and the rest is history.
I went from Raleigh Mountie, to their Chopper. To the smallest 3 speed they built, to International, to Schwinn LeTour and beyond. 3 Speed Sturmey-Archer to Reynolds 531 DB and Campagnolo Nuovo Record some $190 later (3 year old small frame, British green unsold, and Raleigh dealer who let me have it cheap as I was a good customer). By 1978, Schwinn LeTour beckoned.
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Old 02-11-19, 12:46 PM
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Wow, happy stories. I wanted a 20 inch bike so bad. Came time to replace my old balloon tire, my dad drove me into Reno and had a black English Raleigh three speed with fenders already picked out. I was crestfallen, and he was very very angry (typical) that I didn't like the probably extra expensive bike he thought would be my dream. Totally dysfunctional relationship, yea do you think?
So some time later I was on my paper route with my bag across my shoulder, accelerating as hard as I could, and one frickin' pedal broke off right where it screwed into the crank arm, and my groin hit the cross bar so hard I saw lightning bolts. Later I moved on to Triumphs and BSA, maybe you know, Prince of Darkness and tighten till it strips and back off a 32nd.
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Old 02-11-19, 03:12 PM
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Memories. In '66 or '67 Dad bought me a Sting Ray for making good grades. Made in Chicago. I got it at Xmas. He told me if I wanted another bike, motorcycle or car that it was my responsibility. Two yrs later I got a paper route and threw papers on the Sting Ray until I saved enough for a 2 speed Schwinn Typhoon. I gave the Sting Ray to my younger brother.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:57 AM
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These are such good stories.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:57 PM
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Saved quarters in a slot machine bank I got for Christmas. By my birthday at age 7 earned $25 to trigger the pay-out. Down to Monkey Wards for my stingray style bike. 1st thing bought a medium height sissy bar and rode wheelies until dark. Found a smooth concrete parking lot, threw some sand down and brake sliding (brodies) ensued. Took it apart several times, painted, lubed, adjusted, cleaned. My bike I worked for with my own money. Other kids had nicer more expensive bikes but they never got them by working and I could tell by how they treated them. Bet they still hire handymen to change light bulbs.
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Old 02-12-19, 02:44 PM
  #61  
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Lousy pic, I know, but all I can find right now. Me, the "rich" kid, on my Schwinn Cotton Picker circa 1970. Got my official Little League shirt on, too. Holmes Run Rockets. Good times, even if I don't look too happy. I hated having my picture taken.



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Old 02-12-19, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Drape a baseball mitt over the bar, just high enough to clear the front tire, and there I go.
I remember plenty of times with another kid sitting on that bar, feet precariously resting on the front axle nuts. Sometimes another extra kid on the banana seat. The latter worked best with the low sissy bars. Only good for short distances, or downhill.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:17 PM
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It was summer, 1964, I was ten and wanted a Stingray real bad. I had a 24" J.C. Higgins that had been handed down to me from my older brother. Well my parents wouldn't go for the Stingray - it cost over twice what I usually got for my birthday and that was 6 mo. away anyway. So I guess I pestered them pretty bad about it, because they finally went to the Schwinn shop, Manno's downtown on Government Street, and bought a bananna seat and medium-high rise
handlebars - I guess they thought the regular high-rise ones were too high - for me to update my hand-me-down J.C. Higgins with wobbly wheels. It surely wasn't a Schwinn but it kept me busy that summer. I thought it was kind of cool and rode the heck out of it.
Summer, a couple years later, my mom won some kind of contest at Godchaux's, a local department store, and the prize was a plastic swimming pool - about 12' diameter and three feet deep. I thought that was great. I couldn't wait. But my mom convinced me to get a new bicycle instead (she had talked to the Mr. Godchaux, and he said we could trade it for something else of equal value). I thought real hard about it and decided, yeah, a Stingray!Well they didn't sell Schwinn but they had something else similar to a Stingray. That would have to do.
Wouldn't you know it, they tried to talk me out of it and instead get a three speed lightweight. I wasn't too happy about it but Mom took me to go look at it - a red AMF Hercules with chrome fenders, a rack, lights and a generator, three speed twist grip shifter, and caliper brakes. It was pretty nice. Way faster then a Stingray. I rode it everywhere until about the summer of '69. Buy that time I had a paper route and had saved enough to buy what ever bike I wanted.
My older brother had bought a Sierra Brown Super Sport that I liked so I bought a blue one. I rode that bike for years. I don't own it anymore, but I know where it is...
Never did get that Stingray.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:37 PM
  #64  
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Christmas shopping for a bike late Fall, 1966. Mental programming from years earlier on Captain Kangaroo had me set on a Schwinn. 3 speed, Stick Shift, Coppertone Gold, Leopard print banana seat (did not like the stock white- I don't recall if it had metallic or not but it would not do- it did not "go" with the Gold, and the designer in me said no metalflake) Family went shopping. Schwinn's were of course "fair traded" and expensive, all the shops the same price. Went to the shop they bought their Carlton Catalinas at, they had a 5 speed, American Eagle "sting-ray" like bike, less money, more gears, fenders. NO, this would not do. My argument was Schwinn's were tough, double walled rims (I knew my marketing, and the rear derailleur on the American Eagle was vulnerable in a fall.. the Schwinn had internal gearing... Besides, they bought QUALITY bikes... I guess I made a good case, we got the Schwinn as desired. When it came home, it caused great commotion in the apartment complex. Everyone wanted to ride it, have their picture taken sitting on it, the apartment manager got to ride it, Good politics, my Mom said. She almost crashed as she did not understand the handbrakes, expected a coaster brake.

It was stolen about 2 years later and I was told that I would have to buy the next one... Lots of walking, car washes, cat care when neighbor was out of town... but saved up the money by October 1969. Coaster brake version this time, one can only put off the itch so long.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:50 PM
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If I had one, I'd go outside and ride it right now.

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Old 02-13-19, 03:57 AM
  #66  
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My real intention for starting this thread was to see how to post images; I figured the post would be long buried by now. Really enjoying reading all the stories, though. Hope some more of you “grown-ups” will chime in.
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Old 02-13-19, 06:08 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Drape a baseball mitt over the bar, just high enough to clear the front tire, and there I go.
Couldn't afford a Schwinn, though. Mine was a West Point from True Value Hardware.
Shared it with two brothers.
i got mine used for$10 in 68. It was gold with the old flat white tuck and roll banana seat. Cost $10 to have the bearings gone through and a "cheaterslick" put on the back. As the years went on it became my firstbmx with a pair of knobbies, some dourghty grips on handlebars with a stay and a drum brake from a cratebike that i laced into a 20" hoop. Delivered lots of newspapers on that thing one set of bags over my shoulders and one set over the bar stay. Used to scour flea markets and yard sales for 36 spoke hd bendix rear hubs. Spent hours hand filing brake shoes for those coasterbrakes for optimum travel an engagement. Had three different lengths of cranks and 3or4 chainrings engths of as well as rear cogs and several different chains
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Old 02-13-19, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jimrno View Post
Wow, happy stories. I wanted a 20 inch bike so bad. Came time to replace my old balloon tire, my dad drove me into Reno and had a black English Raleigh three speed with fenders already picked out. I was crestfallen, and he was very very angry (typical) that I didn't like the probably extra expensive bike he thought would be my dream. Totally dysfunctional relationship, yea do you think?
So some time later I was on my paper route with my bag across my shoulder, accelerating as hard as I could, and one frickin' pedal broke off right where it screwed into the crank arm, and my groin hit the cross bar so hard I saw lightning bolts. Later I moved on to Triumphs and BSA, maybe you know, Prince of Darkness and tighten till it strips and back off a 32nd.
definition of a lucas three position switch? Off/on/flicker
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Old 02-13-19, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lambiedana View Post
i got mine used for$10 in 68. It was gold with the old flat white tuck and roll banana seat. Cost $10 to have the bearings gone through and a "cheaterslick" put on the back. As the years went on it became my firstbmx with a pair of knobbies, some dourghty grips on handlebars with a stay and a drum brake from a cratebike that i laced into a 20" hoop. Delivered lots of newspapers on that thing one set of bags over my shoulders and one set over the bar stay. Used to scour flea markets and yard sales for 36 spoke hd bendix rear hubs. Spent hours hand filing brake shoes for those coasterbrakes for optimum travel an engagement. Had three different lengths of cranks and 3or4 chainrings engths of as well as rear cogs and several different chains
I had one of those Atom drum brakes, I made a rigid "krate" with a Varsity fork... boy, I had a lot of explaining to the Schwinn shop owner to get that ordered.
That was my Christmas 1969 present, a Krate front wheel complete, $20 they were.
I later assisted a friend who had a Krate, got stolen with the thief leaving the locked front wheel, in his I used a 26" middleweight fork. That time the bike shop guy was easy to work with. Later I planned to lace up the hub to a "20 inch " rim, trouble was only off brand rims were in 24 spoke count... the aesthetics did not work.
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Old 02-15-19, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 73SchwinnWV View Post
Saved quarters in a slot machine bank I got for Christmas. By my birthday at age 7 earned $25 to trigger the pay-out. Down to Monkey Wards for my stingray style bike. 1st thing bought a medium height sissy bar and rode wheelies until dark. Found a smooth concrete parking lot, threw some sand down and brake sliding (brodies) ensued. Took it apart several times, painted, lubed, adjusted, cleaned. My bike I worked for with my own money. Other kids had nicer more expensive bikes but they never got them by working and I could tell by how they treated them. Bet they still hire handymen to change light bulbs.
This might be my favorite story of this thread. Your parents did a good thing by showing you how to earn money.
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Old 02-15-19, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Furyus View Post
My real intention for starting this thread was to see how to post images; I figured the post would be long buried by now. Really enjoying reading all the stories, though. Hope some more of you “grown-ups” will chime in.
My first two wheeler was this
bike (cant recall the make/model) but it was about a year before the Sting Ray trend. My brother forced me to take off the training wheels and I couldnt believe how much faster I could ride and maneuver. Then on to a Monkey Wards Hawthorne gold Sting Ray knock-off. It had a wide banana leopard saddle and eventually I saved up for a narrower one with a nice deep curve in silver metal flake, added a very tall sissy bar and genuine Schwinn bar grips (nice and beefy). I still coveted a real Sting Ray but customizing it made it unique and I was proud of it. Then on to a Collegiate and changed it to drop bars to be cooler. Next was a baby blue Continental I pretty much lived on from morning to eve. Got the first of the Japanese entry road bikes - a World, and on to an '81 chrome plated Voyageur 11.8. Many years later after not much riding I did a full restore of the 11.8 and it inspired me into a new hobby of restoring vintage road bikes. Never been very mechanical orientated but the love of bikes pushes me out of my comfort zone to do my own work. Interesting how Schwinn name was so strongly positioned in my mind I was completely blind to any other brand.
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Old 02-16-19, 09:55 AM
  #72  
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Fans of these bikes should go to the Ann Arbor Bike Swap.
Last time I attended there was a boatload of Sting Ray style offerings...
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Old 02-16-19, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 67tony View Post
Fans of these bikes should go to the Ann Arbor Bike Swap.
Last time I attended there was a boatload of Sting Ray style offerings...
I went to Ann Arbor last year for the first time. I was overwhelmed by how many sellers were there. It was mainly American tank bikes and muscle bikes, but there were also a fair number of light weight road bikes.

There is also a pre-Ann Arbor swap on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until noon at the old location of Memory Lane Classics in Grand Rapids, Ohio. Several of the Ann Arbor vendors set up there on their way to Michigan. I live close enough that I try to go to both of them when I can.
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Old 02-16-19, 12:23 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by ItsTimeToBike View Post
My first two wheeler was this
bike (cant recall the make/model) but it was about a year before the Sting Ray trend. My brother forced me to take off the training wheels and I couldnt believe how much faster I could ride and maneuver. Then on to a Monkey Wards Hawthorne gold Sting Ray knock-off. It had a wide banana leopard saddle and eventually I saved up for a narrower one with a nice deep curve in silver metal flake, added a very tall sissy bar and genuine Schwinn bar grips (nice and beefy). I still coveted a real Sting Ray but customizing it made it unique and I was proud of it. Then on to a Collegiate and changed it to drop bars to be cooler. Next was a baby blue Continental I pretty much lived on from morning to eve. Got the first of the Japanese entry road bikes - a World, and on to an '81 chrome plated Voyageur 11.8. Many years later after not much riding I did a full restore of the 11.8 and it inspired me into a new hobby of restoring vintage road bikes. Never been very mechanical orientated but the love of bikes pushes me out of my comfort zone to do my own work. Interesting how Schwinn name was so strongly positioned in my mind I was completely blind to any other brand.
Nice pic. Bet it was a thrill to fly on that bike.

I’ve loved bikes since that age as well, and find it therapeutic to hang out in the garage working on an old bike.

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Old 02-16-19, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Furyus View Post


Some of those Sears muscle bikes are nice, and are starting to fetch big money. Sadly, the demise of Sears is contributing to that I’ll bet.
Someone should bring these back. Call them Searz.


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